Calpine (CPN) is a great company. Occasionally I see Calpine listed when geothermal companies are being discussed because of their 725 MW of geothermal at the Geysers. But for sustainable energy investors its exposure to renewable technology is too small to include Calpine in an investment strategy. Of their 28,549 MW of capacity, only 2.6 % is renewable with the balance being combined cycle or simple cycle peaking turbines. As a result I’m removing coverage of Calpine from my database.
That said, their emphasis on natural gas fired combined cycle plant may payoff big. Continued moderation in natural gas prices driven by the shale gas boom, low capital costs, high generation efficiency, and low air and carbon emissions present big opportunities for combined cycle developers. Not only is it a strong candidate to supply new MWs, but combined cycles may replace the aging coal fleet at lower cost then air and carbon capture retrofits. IMO this is one of the best carbon reduction opportunities in the near term.